Becoming a Mom.

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Thirty years ago today, at 11:08 pm CDT, I became a mom.

That single day changed my life in so many ways.

Someone once told me that they felt sorry for the oldest child in a family.  Being the first child in a family kinda means that you are the “trial child”, the child on whom each parent learns what it means to be a parent.  Having no manual or rule book, we have to learn as we go.  However, while my oldest may have taught me the most, I feel that I have learned from each of my boys.

Over the past thirty years, I have learned patience, perseverance, negotiation, and many other life skills. These skills have helped me in all aspects of my life.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned that planning is very important to be able to accomplish everything that needs to be done in a day, all the while understanding that my plans may change at a moments notice.  This gave me the incentive to learn to be organized but adaptable – something that has been necessary over these past couple of months.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned how much energy they can have. This gave me the incentive to enroll them in sports and other activities and to help them to enjoy these endeavors.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned that having them play outdoors helped to keep the house cleaner and the boys to sleep better.  This gave me the desire to learn more about plants so that I could be gardening while supervising their outdoor activities.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned how to build forts.  This gave me confidence to build other things, like trellises and gazebos, and to tackle home remodeling projects.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned how much they could eat, and how expensive feeding them would be.  This gave me the desire to learn to bake, to cook, and to make my own preserves.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned how busy life can be.  This gave me the encouragement to daily find time for myself, something that is still important in my life.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly learned that I could not do things alone.  This has given me an appreciation for my husband and gratitude for his love.

Being the mom of four boys, I quickly realized that every life at every age is precious. This has given me a gratitude for the grace shown to us by our heavenly father each and every day.

Some days it feels like it was just yesterday that my oldest was a newborn baby.  Other days, it feels like it was so very long ago. There are many ups and downs being a mom. But, I would not change it for anything.  Happy Birthday, Tim!  I love you.

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Family & Birthdays

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Yesterday was the twenty third birthday of my third son, Ben.  Happy Birthday Ben!

We were blessed to be able to celebrate the day with him.  Well, okay, maybe just the evening. I have been spending most of my time writing up protocols (Covid-19 Business Plan, Respiratory Protection Plan, etc).  All the government regulations can be a bit overwhelming. Ben spent his day doing classwork on-line and preparing for finals.

But, since he is at our home and not in Brooklyn, I felt we needed to do something special for him.  So, he selected a recipe for me to make – Vegetarian Ramen (Bon Appetit), I did some shopping and together we made the recipe.  We did need to leave out some things due to my allergies. This did turn out very tasty.

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Some pecan pie for dessert and a long family conversation with my sons who live out of town was an enjoyable way to spend my evening.

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Perfect Day

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Each day, I spend time watching webinars, reading research papers and thinking about the ideas on how to prepare for providing dental treatment when we are allowed to reopen, while still protecting my patients, my staff and myself.

But this time can also cause a lot of anxiety.  So, this weekend, I also spent some time outside working in my yard.  The weather was so much better than last Sunday.  Sunshine and fresh air is great for reducing anxiety. 

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On Tuesday, I had a load of mulch delivered.   Seventy five bags of cypress mulch to spread around the shrubs and trees.  And, ten bags of black mulch for the flower beds (I like how this mulch looks like dirt when spread around flowers).  So, this weekend, I starting spreading the mulch and making my yard ready for summer.  

 

I also pulled out my yard art and put them in the planting beds and planters.  It’s nice to have something lovely to lift my spirit.  

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A few weeks ago, I found a lovely flower wreath for my front door.  It really brightens up my entryway. 

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I even put out some new yard art that I made over the winter.  I now have a glass frog and a glass ladybug in my planting  beds. I’ll give some details on how to make these later this week.  

What really made today perfect, was reflecting on God’s creation around me.

  • The beauty of the flowers popping through the ground.
  • The delight of the bird’s singing in the trees.
  • The wildlife wondering through my life (well, maybe not the turkeys!). 

Everything is Possible

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Our church has been given the challenge of making 100,000 masks for local hospitals.  

This seems like a daunting task, but with organization everything is possible. The coordinator at our church has set up teams – someone to wash and iron the fabric, someone to cut  the fabric, someone to sew the masks and someone to transport items from each team member and back to church.  This seems like a major challenge, but I have decided to jump in and help. But, I have so much excess fabric (thanks to my mom and my sister) that I am working as my own team.  This should be a good way to use up some of the colors that I would ordinarily not use in a quilt.  The pattern is a basic pattern that is much simpler than the one I had used to make masks before.  So, it should be faster sewing.  

So now that I am done with some yard work, I will spend a couple hours making masks.  

Some good music to listen to will make the time go by quickly.

Cancelled, Not!

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Reflecting back on this past Easter weekend, I am struck by how different our celebration was, but also how much better our celebration and how normal our celebration was.

The difference was that we were at home.  There was  no need to get dressed up, no rush to get dinner ready after church, and no extended family gathering.

With so the church services on-line, we were able to have a better celebration by participating in several different Easter celebrations. Normally, I would not have even thought to check out other church services.  But, this year, my extended family shared links to their church services.

These links gave me a sense of normalcy.  We are still able to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.  While many things have been cancelled, kindness around us is not cancelled. God’s love and our love for family and friends is not cancelled. Hope is not cancelled.  And faith is not cancelled.

Indeed, he is “Still Rolling Stones”.

See the Light

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Today is the third day in a row with snow falling – sometimes falling really heavy.  I have been SO looking forward to being outside and doing yard work.

One week ago today it was 70 degrees outside and I spent several hours pressure washing my deck and patio.  On Saturday, we hit 60 and I was raking leaves.  But, now we are dealing with the fickle spring weather that Minnesota gets each year.

I guess I really shouldn’t complain. It could be worse.  Two years ago today we had a major blizzard.  That day we received over 12 inches of snow with high winds.

At least today the sun does come out between episodes of snow fall.  In fact, while I am writing this post, I have had several episodes of snow fall separated by a few minutes of bright sunshine. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to get outside and start doing some spring projects.

In the meantime, I am working on some quilting projects.  A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was “making my own sunshine” while piecing a wall quilt.  I am now at the point of quilting this landscape quilt. So, I will share a photo of a small part of the quilt that shows the “light” that I am quilting today.

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Somewhere, Nowhere.

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Am I going somewhere?  Am I going nowhere? Those are my daily thoughts.

In Minnesota, even our weather doesn’t know what it is supposed to be doing.

Is it winter?  Is it spring?

Saturday, we had sunshine and 60 degrees.  I spent several hours outside raking and blowing leaves and cleaning out my flower beds.  Our neighbors opened up their pool for the season.  My spring bulbs were starting to pop, and I even planted some pansies in my flower pots.

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Sunday (less than 24 hours later), we had snow falling.  By the time the snow had ended, we had over 7 inches of snow on the ground.

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Hopefully the sunshine and warm weather will come back soon!

 

Love One Another!

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Today is Thursday, but not just any Thursday.  It is the Thursday before Easter – Holy Thursday.

Why is Holy Thursday, Maundy Thursday important?

The word “Maundy” is derived from the Latin word “mandatum” which means commandment.  It refers to the commandment that Christ gave to his disciples when he shared his last supper with them.

A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34)

As I start my day today, I am reflecting upon the significance of this day.  Even with social distancing and stay home orders, we can still show love to the people in our lives.  Simple gestures, like calling family members to see how they are doing, or, making masks for healthcare workers, family and friends, or a variety of other ways.

Today, while making more masks, I plan to listen to the sound track of  The Passion, New Orleans. Originally broadcast four years ago, one of the songs that I really like is “Love Can Move Mountains”.  Little acts of love in this world really could move mountains!  

Normally on Thursdays, I would work late hours at my dental office.  In past years, I would have gone directly from work to the Holy Thursday service at our church.  With the many changes that have transpired, I am not working today, nor is our church building open.

Tonight, however, our church will be on-line with Dwell, a service of worship and prayer.  I can tune into at 7pm CDT, and so can you!

Kindergarten

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This morning I had a nice texting conversation with one of my friends.  She lives in Minnesota, but far enough away that I don’t get to see her very often.  I do, however, text her regularly.

I had offered to share something I had excess of.  In return, she referred to me as a “true friend”.  I really appreciated her comment!

A couple hours later, a different friend sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers to thank me for of my time spent thinking about ideas to get back to being a dentist while dealing with a pandemic.  That kind gesture, brought tears to my eyes and showed me what a “true friend” she was.

This afternoon, while working in my yard, I was reflecting upon these two events of my day.  It made me think about the poster that was very popular several years ago “All I really need to know…I learned in Kindergarten.  The statements in this poster really do fit, especially in today’s world.  The first thing listed is to share everything! The poster even includes – wash your hands.   But, the part of the poster that speaks the most to me is the line:

Live a balance life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

I really do try to incorporate thinking and doing, work and play into my day.

Maybe if we all reflected upon the things we learned in Kindergarten, this world would be a more peaceful place.

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